To visit the Sydney Swans website click the logo below.

Round 11- North Melbourne v Sydney: The Union of Old Friends

For the past four years, I have attempted to juggle full-time study with full-time employment. This has resulted in a full-time headache. However, the end is nigh, and it is now more than ever, that I appreciate the unquestionable need to seek the support of old friends.


This week has meant exams. Exams mean study, and study means no footy until the weekend. Not ideal. Not at all. It’s been a long week. But, like an old and trusted friend, the Sydney Swans wait for me at the end of a week full of torment and unknowing, with a preparedness to share. To share in the celebration.


For four years, my focus has oscillated between student centres and the SCG, pedagogy and Pykey’s ruck work, multiplicative thinking and maniacal thinking, social and emotional learning and fearing for my very own social and emotional wellbeing, this being highly dependent on whether the Bloods win or bloody well lose!


From my balcony, countless hours have been spent philosophising while surveying the glistening waters of the Derwent. Supported by my staple of store-bought strong flat whites and home-made double espressos, fresh from the dependable De Longhi, it’s been the prospect of the Bloods rather than the prospect of a new career, that have often been front of mind.


The Blood Stained Angels face the Shinboners tonight, and I’m preparing for another winter’s night spent engrossed in the type of benevolent affection only known in friendship. Me ol’ mates wear Red and White and this week, as they have done many times before, they provide me with much anticipated gratification. We’re old friends you see. Watching my team is a reward.


I’m impressed with the edginess to this season’s performances. I see a genuine will to win, and a ruthless demeanour which speaks volumes about the boys’ approach to their footy in 2015. The start of this match is no exception and our first half is jet-propelled, unrelenting and beautiful. Jets sets the tone with his balletic boots, skipping around defenders and caressing the Sherrin home, from fifty-five. Gaz is leaving scorch marks all over the Docklands and between our much-loved number thirty-two and our much-loved number sixteen, the faithful are left in awe.


Our Badass Blonde Brigade of Hanners, Kizza and Parksy dominate through the middle and the beneficiaries are Buddy, Tippo and Goodesy. At quarter-time it appears as though I’m not the only one who’s been pondering Pykey’s profession, as Horse sprays like on only Horse can.


Harry & Tommy look like ten-year gems, and Ramps may well be in the midst of constructing a remarkable transition from Sydney park footy to All-Australian half-back. Who knows.


Post half-time and the Swannies appear to have lost some of their first half motivation. I can sympathise. In my quest to attain my teaching degree, I’ve experienced many moments of minimal motivation. Textbooks have often been replaced by a Footy Almanac, words from Kirky or Micky O, Martin Blake’s ‘Rise of the Swans’ or Jim Main’s ‘In the Blood’. My playlist of Bach, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and Ludovico Einaudi has at times, lost priority to the melodic and delightfully distracting tones of Dappled Cities, Future Islands and Royksopp.


The Enemy fight back, but so does our champion. In more ways than one. Showing the spark of seasons past, A. Goodes is proving the doubters wrong. And don’t we just love it. Witnessing our mercurial number thirty-seven bursting through packs and dancing around defenders has me dancing around the lounge room. This is all I was hoping for. As Buddy hammers in that final nail with his fourth, another four points are locked away.


And, as I celebrate the end of another trying semester, the Sydney Swans celebrate another fine victory. This season is progressing nicely, causing my mind to temporarily drift. I wonder what’s in store?


Just like my Swans, I’m not standing on the victory dais yet, but I’m charging into the mid-season break full of hope. Banking wins and appreciating a renewed sense of self along the way. Perhaps, this Spring, my old friends and I will join in union to toast a job well done.


North Melbourne     3.4    4.6    8.11    10.15.75
Sydney    4.3    9.5    12.7    14.7.91


North: Thomas 2, Higgins 2, Nahas 2, Petrie, Harvey, Wright, Dumont

Sydney: Franklin 4, Goodes 3, Tippett 2, Rohan 2, Jetta, Cunningham, Hannebery


Umpires: S Ryan, B Ryan, Mollison


Crowd: 32,217 at Etihad Stadium.


About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. jan courtin says

    Great write-up Joe. Had to google “multiplicative thinking” however!
    Interestingly, being at the game, our last half seemed more error-riddled and lacking in motivation than it did when I watched the replay on tele. Not sure why.

    Let us hope that you’ll soon be standing on the victory dais in all your red and white glory!
    Cheer cheer

  2. Neil Anderson says

    Good luck with your glittering prize which is now in sight.
    I can relate to the full-time work and study at the same time scenario. Throw in a second child unexpectedly arriving halfway through the Degree and it really tested the whole family.
    But oh how sweet it will be when you graduate.
    I thought I was the only footy nut who relied on seeing my team play at the weekend as a ‘reward’ after grappling all week with family matters and essays on Economic History.
    I wish the Almanac was around back then as another outlet and counterbalance to the serious university stuff.
    It looks like you and the Swans could be celebrating on the dais together later this year, metaphorically speaking.

  3. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Jan. Despite the second half, was a fine win. I’ll be very happy if I never hear the term ‘multiplicative thinking’ again!

    Thank you, Neil. We don’t have any children to throw into the mix yet, so I can only imagine how tough that must have been for you! The Almanac has provided me with an amazing outlet. Talking and writing about footy has kept me sane!

  4. Ross Treverton says

    Great article Joe. The passion of Swans supporters all over the country never ceases to amaze me. How much must the boys love coming to Melbourne to play and get the support they receive. Two cities, one team…….you and Jan fill the top 2 spots on my favourite read list each week!

  5. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    It was good, Joe, wasn’t it? As is your account.
    I had just come from a 6 hour masterclass, listened to the first quarter in the car on the way home and then tuned in to visuals. Clarity, beauty … a gutsy win.
    Good luck with the exams.

  6. Joe Moore says

    Thanks Ross. We get fantastic support across Australua these days, but I’m sure the boys love our games in Melbourne. The club have done an outstanding job in preserving and connecting to our South Melbourbe roots.

    Thanks Mathilde. A great win indeed. Exams all done for now. Went well, answered with all the precision of a Jarrad McVeigh drop punt. Just the one semester to go and it’ll be party time!

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Well done Joe. I’m sure your hard work will pay off. Good luck with the exams. If you’ve shown a quarter of the passion for your studies as you have for the Swans, you’ll nail it!

  8. Joe Moore says

    Luke, cheers mate. One more semester to go…I’m still holding out hope that I can somehow work the Swans into one of my assignments!

Leave a Comment